My forensic investigation/car cleaning reveals the following about the strangers who were driving my car 250 miles between Saturday night — when they stole the car — and Monday night — when they were arrested for robbery and the car was impounded.

They accessed my car using a lock pick on a key chain. They ate at Jack in the Box and McDonalds and used the cup holders as ash trays. They bought drum sticks and Miller Genuine Draft beer at Safeway on Sunday at 6:00 pm. Some portion of their traveling was done at very high speeds. (Corrected in comments.) They filled the tank at least once and added at least one quart of motor oil to the engine. They emptied my CDs out of the CD changer and replaced them with their own, but they put the CDs in upside down, and listened to KUBE 93.3 FM instead.

The car is smelly, but probably fine. When accelerating from a stop, the engine makes a new puttering noise that makes me nervous. I’m hoping that will be it attributed to low oil, rather than some strain on the engine.

My new license plates say “TPS“. That’s one good thing.

Categorized as Before


  1. But didn’t they *put* oil in your car? Maybe they got the wrong grade?
    Totally awesome that they were caught and arrested! Ususally they just find the car trashed somewhere and call you and say “Yeah – come pick up your car – it’s at ___ Apartment complex in Kent” or whatever.
    And I’ll give you the same deal I gave my co-worker, who’s Honda was stolen THREE TIMES and each time she started shopping for new cars the day before she was issued the insurance check, they’d find her car – more trashed than the last time: If you want the insurance check, I got a pool full of dirt you can bury it in.

    (Jack in the Box AND McDonald’s? No wonder they got caught – too fat to run.)

  2. Manuel: the sound of the engine has been distinctly different since the car was recovered and I thought they may have strained something. It turns out though, that the thieves made a non-standard modification to the air intake system to ramp up the horse power, and that’s what I’ve been hearing. They really did pimp-up my Saturn.

    Phil: the thieves have already been caught and charged.

  3. Ooh did you get a big new aftermarket air intake manifold?! I have one of those too! It makes your car go VROOM like a boy car instead of ZEEEE like a girl car!
    Good deal!!

  4. Congrats on getting it back. It’s a little discourging to know that a Saturn will get stolen. That’s why I bought one in the first place :)

  5. (we met at a seattle blog meetup)

    Our kid’s (actually my) Civic was stolen once, and the cops hauled it up to Lincoln towing and called us to come get it. The Lincoln guy was shaking his head and said that they’d “really thrashed it”, so we were prepared for the worst. When we looked inside, it there was junk and clothing strewn all over the inside, but that’s the way my kid left it. They’s screwed up the ignition getting it started, though.

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